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Big Brother: Over the Top Simulator Released

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After a month of work, the Big Brother: Over the Top simulator has been officially released. This clears the backlog of 2016 plans and allows complete focus to go into the new 2017 plans that include Survivor, Total Drama, and more.

Thanks to all of the volunteers who helped test this simulator. Special thanks goes to @brandon for providing knowledge on the season and designing a voting chart that was incorporated into it.

This is the first Big Brother season on the .com server and uses a combination of code from the older Big Brother seasons and the newer simulators. It includes a new type of menu system to change settings weekly and make audience decisions. There are a few new week 1 options so that you can avoid using logic, events/status pages, or having to keep clicking buttons if you don’t want to see them.

If you see any issues, it would be appreciated if you could report them. Bugs should be fixed in about 24 hours, and then saving will be added. I’ll be catching up on contact messages from the first half of April and posting a new blog entry on the schedule for the upcoming weeks soon.

To those who celebrate it, enjoy your Easter!

Bugs Fixed:
– Cast members 11 and 12 should now work correctly in all modes of Edit Cast
– In week 6, the Co-HoH winner can no longer be picked to play veto a second time.
– Alliances no longer form with evicted houseguests or the houseguest not voted in.
– Co-HoH and nominees italicized, episode 3 now shows both double veto winners.
– In the double eviction, the prior co-HoH can no longer compete for HoH.

Sunday Night Update: Saving has been added.


The Duel Simulator Released

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After several months, The Challenge: The Duel simulator has been completed. This is the first simulator where the challenges were designed with extra details and 100% logic, attempting to make it as close to the show as possible. It includes the 15 regular challenges, the 4 possible duels, and the final challenge. Please report any bugs you see or changes that you think could improve the season. All previous feedback was reviewed, and many adjustments were made.

Saving will be added in a few days, once there has been enough time to identify any additional concerns that need addressed.

I personally don’t think this much time should ever be spent designing a simulator again for a single season of a show, and I announced that development would stop for the rest of 2017 on the other seasons of The Challenge. Feel free to comment or take this survey if you have an opinion on that.

Friday Morning Update: Saving has been added, so this season is finalized.


Plans for March & Beyond

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As mentioned on Twitter, all of the challenges in The Duel simulator were completed last week. The simulator is currently undergoing final testing and will be sent to some volunteers for additional testing before it’s finalized and published. The final version is expected to be released this upcoming week. Because of the extensive time it took to complete this season, no additional seasons of The Challenge are expected in 2017. This will only change if a volunteer is found who is willing to thoroughly plan the seasons or if users agree that the rest of the seasons should be released without full challenges, which would reduce the programming time per season to about a week.

Now, the focus shifts to programming a simulator for Big Brother: Over The Top. This will be similar to the other Big Brother seasons and allow users to make the same audience decisions as they could in the show. The goal is to complete this simulator in about a week. A Big Brother Canada 5 simulator is planned for around the time the season finishes, and the March cast photo update will be posted after the BBCAN5 cast is officially revealed.

For future plans, the remaining Total Drama seasons are now in development and will be gradually completed over the upcoming months. Total Drama Action and Total Drama World Tour are both in the planning stage and will be released as soon as they are completed. This could be as early as this month but is not a guarantee. Updates on the status of these seasons will be regularly posted.

Survivor will have an Advanced Template similar to the Big Brother Future Template (which has been again renamed the Big Brother Advanced Template). This will replace the previously announced Merge Template and include greater customization. In addition, the new algorithm for Millennials vs. Gen X will continue to be improved and incorporated into the Advanced Template and eventually all existing seasons of Survivor. There will be a Survivor survey posted this upcoming week to see your opinions on the new changes in season 33 and what you want to see in the Advanced Template before it’s released.

There may be other surprises coming this month as well. Stay tuned.


Hunger Games: Customization Added

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As you may have noticed over recent months, new options have been added to the Hunger Games Simulator to provide further customization for simulations.

These include an additional Very High Death Rate option, an option to decrease the Cornocupia and Feast Default Event Rate, and an option to disable Arena Events.

There is also a link under Options to a Custom Text page where you can change the default text on the simulator if you’re interested in a non-violent simulation of the Hunger Games, if you want to remove the Hunger Games terms and phrases that were previously attached to all simulations, or if you can think of your own creative theme.

There will be numerous blog posts later today and this week with updates on The Duel, Prediction Game, and upcoming simulators. It would be appreciated if you could save those comments for those posts and keep these related to the Hunger Games changes. Thank you.


Survivor 33, Demo Version #3

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The demo of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X has been updated to version #3.

Notable Changes in Version #3:

– Group targets are now shown. This includes targets from alliances and factions.
– Majority alliances may split votes.
– Players may choose to go against an alliance if they disagree with the targets.
– Players may also logically flip to avoid a deadlock.
– An accidental deadlock caused by multiple players flipping on revotes occur.
– Many functional and display errors were fixed from demo version #2.
– Statistics are now available, including the number of idols found.
– Player Reasoning has been added.
– No Logic simulation has been added.

Overall, this update takes the voting system from Total Drama Island and significantly expands on it to provide a more realistic Survivor simulation experience that is easier to update and has more flexibility than the older Survivor seasons. Keep in mind that this is just version 3 of the new Survivor system, and it will continue to grow and become more complex with new scenarios added. This new algorithm will eventually be added to more Survivor seasons and templates.

Thousands of seasons were simulated in an effort to remove as many bugs as possible. Some may have been missed, so please report any that you see. Any feedback on the logic or season template would be appreciated. There are still a few improvements needed before Survivor 33 is finalized with saving.

The next content update will probably be the completion of The Duel simulator, which is being worked on. A little later this month, the agenda will be posted for what’s coming up in the months ahead. January was a very productive month for gathering user feedback and beginning to recruit new volunteers, and the backlog of tasks is being cleared to allow more focus on the future simulators. I will continue to work with volunteers to be as productive as possible.

There will be a few hours of downtime Wednesday after midnight EST (some would consider that late Tuesday night) on the server. More details will be posted about this soon.


Survivor 33 Demo Updated

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The demo of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X has been updated to version #2.

Notable Changes in Version #2:

– Vote By Vote Display: Redesigned to address plurality issue with the old system.
– Multiple revotes can occur if deadlock (same number of targets tied for consecutive votes) is not reached. This can lead to some very unusual scenarios.
– Idol Improvements: Immunity idols and legacy advantage should be played and blundered more realistically based on logic and statistics.
– Medevacs and quits have been implemented. Update: The probabilities for these have been reduced.

A few parts still need improved in version #3 including better voting (incorporating targets and alliances better, adding split votes, adding reasoning) and better final tribal council logic and display.

The Survivor tribal council system is always very complex. Since this is a new version of Survivor code, there are many issues that require testing and correcting. If you find any scenarios that trigger bugs, it would be appreciated if you could report them. Thank you.


The Challenge: The Duel Simulator Demo

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The Challenge: The Duel simulator has been released in Demo form.

Some of the challenges are completed and have been added with full details while the challenges that are in progress have been disabled and replaced with generic challenge text. This simulator uses full logic, but the reasoning descriptions were replaced with generic reasoning text because they need to be improved. A full release should occur this month. Some of the recent challenges were not tested very thoroughly, so any user feedback, testing, and bug reports would be appreciated. Thank you.

The next blog entry should be posted on Friday night with the second version of the Survivor 33 algorithm.

Comments Off on New Year’s Update

New Year’s Update

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Happy New Year!

I added the BrantSteele Survivor Simulator Blog in August 2013 to better gather feedback from users. Because of this user feedback, The Big Brother Simulator was created and the simulators and community features have expanded far beyond anything I ever expected. 2016 was a challenging year spent creating a new architecture for future simulators on to help improve efficiency and cut costs, and it was a far slower year than anyone would have liked. Although all user contact messages and Blog comments were read, most of them had to be ignored because there was not time to respond or take action or there were other plans in place.

My goal for 2017 is to put the future of BrantSteele largely back into the hands of users and find ways to add the community and simulator features that are most desired, within reasonable scope. The only way this will be possible is with the help of volunteers in a wide variety of categories including CSS & HTML Specialists, Image Editors, Programmers, Reality TV Experts, Researchers & Organizers, and Writers and Translators. A volunteer does not immediately assume a staff position, but he or she could eventually. Volunteers will not be paid, since the BrantSteele simulators and community features do not make any form of money. If you understand the conditions and are interested in applying, please send a message using the Contact Form with the subject Volunteer Application. Make sure to include what position(s) you are interested in, your BrantSteele Blog or Subreddit usernames if you have them, and samples of your skills. Volunteer applications will be closed at some point in January, and follow-up messages will be sent. I also greatly appreciate anyone who takes the time to apply. Update: Volunteer applications are now closed and are being reviewed.

Since it’s taking so long, I will touch up and release what is currently done on the The Challenge: The Duel simulator on Tuesday night. The second version of the algorithm and display is very close to being finished for the Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X simulator as well. Until a team of testers is in place, simulators will be released in demo forms for the near future and gradually touched up afterwards.

Current plans for January include these two simulators, along with likely designing and releasing Australian Survivor 2016 and Big Brother: Over The Top. Which one do you want to see first? Answer the poll here, which will be the first of many surveys throughout the month.

Comments are currently closed but will open on Tuesday with the demo of The Duel simulator.


Survivor 33 Simulator Demo Released

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The Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X season template is complete. This uses the new Survivor algorithm, which is still missing some computational and display components and is borrowing some of these functions from existing simulators until the new code is fully ready. Most notably tribal council is in an overly simplistic form, although logical decision making is still occurring. Because this season was previously announced to be released 24 hours after the finale, it is being published in an unfinished ‘demo’ state.

Please report any issues that you see with this current version. Bugs are expected, and I’ll be closely monitoring reports to make adjustments while the new algorithm is being finished.

This season is expected to be released in a more final form in a few days along with a full release of The Duel simulator.

Bugs Fixed as of 11:45 PM EST on 12/16/16:
– Correct player is now eliminated at pre-merge tribal councils.
– Legacy Advantage is now used by the correct player.
– Three tribe immunity challenges now show both tribal winners.
– Weak players are now targeted more frequently pre-merge, with threats targeted more frequently post-merge.
– Added initial Placements page.
– Correct reward sharing now occurs in final six immunity challenge.
– Random mode no longer divides by gender.

Coming Very Soon:
– Better tribal councils (functions and displays) and idol playing
– Improved event & targeting scenarios
– Statistics, and summary pages


December Plans

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During the first half of December, there is now a concrete plan in place to finish and release The Duel simulator. You can read further down this post for extensive details on its status and what remains to be completed. The second goal for the month is to finish the new Survivor algorithm contained in the Merge Template and release this algorithm inside the Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X simulator. Typically, these seasons are released within 24 hours of the finale, and this is the hope, but it is not a guarantee since the Survivor finale’s date is currently unknown and because this simulator is going to be the first Survivor season running on a new system.

The Survivor Merge Template is currently being used to test the new Survivor algorithm, but it’s release date is still unknown and it is a possibility but not guaranteed for December. After simulators are released for The Duel and Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, there is a chance that development may begin later this month on an Australian Survivor and/or a Big Brother: Over the Top simulator. These will use components not included in any current simulator such as audience decisions in BB:OTT and the option to change settings weekly in Australian Survivor. These two simulators are not guaranteed to be finished this month, and there are no other simulators planned for this month.

This is a question posed for users, but would you rather see more frequent simulators released with less logic and detail, infrequent releases with extensive details, or a combination of the two? Keep reading for more details on how long it typically takes to make a simulator and see how this applies to the current work on The Duel. Your responses will help determine questions for an upcoming user survey that will help decide 2017 plans and scheduling methods.

12/5 Update: There has already been a change in plans. With the Survivor 33 finale airing next Wednesday, one week earlier than I expected, 100% focus needs to be put into the new Survivor algorithm to have this season released as close to on schedule as possible. More progress has been made on final challenges in The Duel, and that simulator should be released about a week after the Survivor 33 simulator.

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